Friday, 18 March 2016

'Grey Gardens' at Dundee Contemporary Arts!

I've found myself in Dundee quite a bit this past month for various shows and most recently to check out Fiona McCubbin & Amy Louise Jones collaborative exhibition 'Bonefold'. Sadly my failure to check out the opening times combined with a strict bus schedule meant I totally missed their show which was a bummer. However with the time I had I managed a quick visit to the DCA to take in the Grey Gardens exhibition.

"The exhibition traces a line from Scottish modernist buildings by Morris and Steedman and Peter Womersley to the work of Italian architect Carlo Scarpa and the fantastical Mexican concrete garden Las Pozas, created by Edward James. Scottish town art also features, from Brian Miller’s work in Cumbernauld to David Harding’s creations for Glenrothes. These unique environments will be revealed through photography and video from Guido Guidi, Colin McLean, Amanda Holmes and Avery Danziger."

Grey Gardens takes a close look at some stunning buildings and examples of work from those mentioned above, building up a nice picture of each architects unique approach to buildings and public space. The large prints of Edward James Las Pozas really immerse the viewer in the tropical location of his totemesque buildings. Another thing that really struck me about the show is the layout, using an extensive archive of photographs to highlight the stunning range of work by Cumbernaulds new town artist Brian Miller, the first artist tasked with creating work site specific to the town you get a real sense of place and space. 

A personal highlight came from Guido Guidis photographs of Scarpa's Tomba Brion, resting place of the Brion family and Scarpa himself after his death in 1978. Guidi captures subtle images of the various architectural details which are not at first apparent like how the sun creates these moving shadows which morph and change depending on the time of day. I spent some time examining each of the prints and was completley immersed in the Tomba. Another highlight came from Martin Boyce and his 'Against The Sky' jesmonite panel, a piece which finds perfect balance between shape, form, materials, type and space. I could honestly have stared at it for hours, seeing the lines left from the casting process, the metal letters cast in Martins own font, the slab being both a dominant piece but also light in its own way. 

The DCA as always have done a great job of presenting the work for Grey Gardens, which is part of a series of events being held across Scotland as part of the Festival of Architecture with more events in the pipe line including the soon to be launched 'Look Again' festival in Aberdeen. There's beauty in the greys if you just stop and look for a minute and Grey Gardens certainly highlights them! The show runs until the 1st of May so be sure to get down to Dundee Contemporary Arts before then.